Car was running fine and then suddenly the check engine light comes on. The car immediately lost power, only getting up to around 25 mph on a flat road and 5 mph up hill. The catalytic converter was glowing cherry red and the car almost had a burning rubber smell to it. Friend hooks his tester to the car, and it only throws off a PO300 code. We have replaced the spark plugs, ignition module and the ignition coil. What else could it possibly be? Could the converter be clogged or could it be that front O2 sensor before the converter? The car has a full tank of 93 octane in it. The car will start up fine, but the engine has a vibration and a go cart sound to it now. This car has run perfect up until that happened. It has right around 115,000 miles on it. I can not afford to tow it out to the Gm dealership and then pay $100 just to hook it up to their computer, so I am really trying to repair it at home. Thanks.
Please help. 2000 Saturn LS1. on 2000 Saturn LS1
by saturn72 in Lithia Springs, GA on September 23, 2010
2 answers 2 comments
ANSWER by patrick mannion , September 23, 2010
Your car has a misfire code that can and may have damaged the catalytic converter , you could remove the cat and see if the honeycomb interior of the cat is plugged up. You do need to figure out the misfire issue or it will damage the new cat converter. A scan tool would be great to read freeze frame information to see fuel trim figures, air flow into the engine ignition timing advance and other live sensor data. Have you good diagnostic information? Autozone have some popular workshop manuals for free on line once you register (for free) on their website http://bit.ly/autozone_repair_info or there is a company that independent auto repair shops "buy" their information from that offer a very reasonable service to do it yourselvers. You can get a one week subscription or year subscription very cheap. The information is year make and model specific repair procedures, service bulletins, component locations, wiring diagrams ect.... great quality information same as the professionals have ,much better than generic workshop manuals from parts stores, much cheaper than the factory manual try http://bit.ly/mitchell_repair_manuals_online and get an online repair manual subscription.
ANSWER by Visitor , January 17, 2011
probably a bad coil pack. but could also be the ignition module. sometime one fails and takes out the other. it may have damaged the converter. the ignition moduel is silver and bolted to the coil pack, it is black and has the ecotech lable on it, it is held down with 4 10mm bolts, sparkplugs are underneath.
COMMENT by Visitor , January 18, 2011
Thank you. We replaced the ignition coil and ignition module and also put brand new premium spark plugs in it. The car starts up fine, and only starts doing this after it has been running for a few minutes. I am now leaning more towards the catalytic converter needing to be replaced. We have a good friend who's a welder who also knows how to replace the converter. We are going to go ahead and replace the front O2 censor as well. I am "hoping" that this does the trick, because now I want to sale the car.
COMMENT by Visitor , March 18, 2011
I had a coil die on me while driving once. When I replaced it with one from my parts car, I discovered something extremely valuble!!!! My car was a 1996 Saturn SL2. Parts car was 1997 SL1. Both have the same coil. And both had a ton of oil and dirt built-up between the coil and the engine block. I now have another 1997 SL2. Just bought it, only has 86,000 miles on it. It was starting hard. The odd thing was, it would start rightup after I would just turn the engine over for a second or two. It would also start easily after it was just shut off. I took off the coil tonight and found oil and mud. took it off cleaned it in the kitchen sink, PROBLEM SOLVED !!! Cleaning the coil should be part of routine maintenance for everyone. And, if you have a leaky Valve Cover Gasket, replace it ASAP. I will be doing mine today.